Monday, July 05, 2010

High Summer's Morning

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

High summer’s morning
poor-mouthed by the sun
from baked coastal cries
of daylight lotion’s frailty
waiting to float
with my writing arm
unburdened by time
on folded sandy blankets
with a fevered slumber.

Yet a child waves
along the nameless streams
in the watery shampoo
among bedrock sounds
of shells, stones and castles,
rushing gulls circle the wind
in a newborn flight
and the unmindful poet
ripens the unruly waters
of the incoming tide.


Thanks to all our contributors today, including Carl Schwartz, who took a chance on the always-tricky limerick; far-away poets Be Herrera and B.Z. Niditch, and Katy Brown for the fish-bicycle photo she took in S.F.

Medusa’s bulletin board (at the right) lists some of the hot NorCal poetry events for this week; as usual, go to for more.

I see the California Museum has an exhibit of women’s purses going on right now (, which reminds me of a chapbook from Patricia Wellingham-Jones on the same subject. Her book, Bags, can be ordered at PO Box 238, Tehama, CA 96090 for $10, including shipping.

Poetry Publication Workshop at Book Passage in Corte Madera with David Alpaugh, Connie Post, & Jay Rubin

•••Sat. (7/17), 1-4:30pm: This workshop is designed to answer your questions about the current state of poetry publishing and to assist you in designing a customized submission strategy to bring your poetry to the attention of publishers, judges, reviewers, and, above all, readers. Whether you're ready to "send out" for the first time or just want to improve your existing acceptance rate, here's a shirtsleeve workshop to help you make it happen. Fee: $50.00.

David Alpaugh is an award-winning poet, teacher, book designer, publisher, and commentator who has been active in the Bay Area poetry community for twenty years. Connie Post served as the first Poet Laureate of Livermore, California from 2005-June 2009. She is the Host of the Valona Deli Second Sunday Poetry series and has been published in dozens of journals on and off line. She has a book forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Jay Rubin brings years of experience to the publishing side of the fence as former editor of Peralta Press and current editor of Alehouse literary review. All three have poetry contest experience as winners and/or judges. To pre-register, or for more information, email Roy Mash,


—Be Davison Herrera, Corvallis, OR

sky shrugs fog
aside to relight dark clouds
leaps adolescent sunrays
horizontally maps pure white air
BH to JH
2 hearts beat better upon
each other close


—Be Davison Herrera

maybe they sing
their tunes to call dreams
such poignant sounds
can break glasses
containing drops of fragrant tea
which lull unwary
travelers to sleep
their ships wreck on rocks
full of legends


—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento

(inspired in a roundabout way by “Do Not Ask Me” by Pablo Neruda)

A sousaphone player from Mt. Helicon
Found 3 eggs in his bell from a pelican,
He glared over at Mt. Parnassus
Then bellowed some very hot gasses,
Frying all those eggs to hell and gone.


—B.Z. Niditch

Sleepless by the piano
remembering your first étude
and dizzy adolescence
for Chopin
you taste
a murdered blood orange
in the cool air
trying to capture
the A.M.
after hours,
you imagine leaves
from beds of dandelions
in slaked fields
with a nightfall quiver
absorbed in sunshine
on the bluest rivers
trembling for the dawn
expecting endless proverbs
to outlast your disarray
in the perennial darkness.


—B.Z. Niditch

Trembling and miserable
in departing rain
my voice broken
in adolescent wonder
under the marquee
standing still
beneath an oversized dark sky
waiting up for you
expecting your flattery
to make us human
if my memory holds up.


—B.Z. Niditch

Across molten clouds
burning fragments
awaken a sky
of Raphael blue,
time follows
nautical explorers
like gulls in flight;
the winds cry out,
caressing warm shadows
by sea light lanterns
nature harbors
its motioning waters
as noonday scatters us
over chimeras of sand.


—B.Z. Niditch

Anchored along
the forsaken shore
secrets leak through
an irate diary;
it’s crazy how words
tumble out of memory,
my writing arm
zig zags every entry
and ink dreams,
like phantoms of the sea,
wax nostalgic
on backwater dunes
while I wait
for a flotilla to sail.


—B.Z. Niditch

Fold me
in daylight dunes
reaching away
from seaweed,
the dead winds
and hidden reeds
keep an eye
on stopped shadows
on distant bird-call springs
far from shore,
encircle me
with island glances
against the ephemeral tide
of tourist traps,
let me ask
for pleated sunshine
and too much sky,
long enough to sail alone.


Today's LittleNip:

The only things
that stay the same
are constant change
and your gravestone name.

—Carl Bernard Schwartz

Photo by Carl Bernard Schwartz